「転生せし者」 (Tensei Seshi Mono)
“The Reincarnator”

Of all the magical-fantasy-action-harem anime based on a light novels I’ve watched so far this season, this one may not be the worst, but it disappointed me the most. This first episode is an absolute mess.

Flash Forward Prologue

The one thing Seiken Tsukai no World Break did relatively well was the flash forward opening. To be honest, I’m not fond of the tactic—why give away where they’re going when it’s more satisfying to watch them get there? But it worked well because it was relatively clear what was going on. The only things they pointed out were either things we knew from the premise (MC-kun has two past lives), and the rest was a straightforward battle against some badass dragon. I also liked that he wasn’t doing everything on his own—the other characters were at least defending and stalling the baddie, and wounding it too, even if protagonist Haimura Moroha (Ishikawa Kaito) was still doing the heavy lifting.

And that’s about where my praise ends for today.

Inherently Gifted Characters Are Not Likable, Relatable, Or Interesting

I wrote a post over at my new site on relatability last night, after blogging the latest episode of Log Horizon. It was Kanami who reminded me that I needed to write it (I’ve been meaning to do it for a long time), because she’s not the least bit relatable. That’s not the goal though. Relatability is overrated; it’s hard better to shoot for interesting. That’s something Kanami shares with Shiroe and much of the Log Horizon cast.

Not so here! Moroha is a text-book example of an ordinary high school student (trope!) who turns out to be some unstoppable badass through no effort of his own. Sometimes, that’s fine. Great stories do not often feature normal people, because regular people don’t often do great things. Tokyo Ravens—which I wish I had blogged more and more as time goes on—features plenty of characters that are not normal, by birth or circumstance or both. But they all work at it as well. They work hard, they struggle, they fail, and sometimes their gifts come in handy, but that’s okay because they’re doing the other part themselves.

I can only guess the suddenly-handing-Moroha-all-this-power-he-didn’t-work-for is meant to make him more relatable (in addition to his utterly forgettable personality), so the average Japanese light novel consumer can more easily step into his shoes. But as I said in the post on my site, that’s not desirable. I can’t imagine myself as Harutora, but I shouldn’t—I’m not him. I can see where he’s coming from, though. I can imagine myself standing beside him, or looking over his shoulder as he tackles his trials, and empathize with him in doing so. What I find ridiculous is that the character I empathized with the most this time was Isurugi Gen (Sugisaki Ryou). Yes, he was a total asshole, a remorseless bully who pushed people around because he could, and who threatened to strip a girl against her will, which is sexual assault, but he worked for two long years and earned his power, whereas Moroha tripped into it all of a sudden, by virtue of his unique birth and plot armor. It’s remarkable how badly you have to screw up for a bully to elicit the most sympathy, even if it’s only for a second.

Stupid Characters Are Not Likable, Relatable, Or Interesting

You know what’s also a bad idea, character-wise? Irredeemable idiots. Ranjou Satsuki (Taketatsu Ayana) spends the entire episode doing things so stupid that I’ve already written her off as a human being. Isurugi is still a bully and an asshole for beating her up, but she willfully stuck her head in the meat grinder. This isn’t victim blaming; I’m not saying that she deserved it because she wore those clothes. If she hadn’t picked a fight, or had backed down after a few insults, and Isurugi had tried to force the confrontation, the teacher would have kicked his ass. She willfully stepped into the bear trap, and I don’t have a lot of respect for a character like that. And exposing her back to an enemy? What a baka.

Ditto, by the way, for Moroha. Him challenging Isurugi to a pointless fight when he had no chance of winning (outside of plot armor) did not make him look admirable. It made him look like an idiot. Thus we have another reason to stop caring about him before we even start.

Compared to Taketatsu Ayana Imouto Character #47, Urushibara Shizuno (Yuuki Aoi) is at least interesting for holding her cards closer to her chest, and being one of the few Yuuki Aoi characters that doesn’t sound like she’s a high-pitched 13-year-old. Past that, no other feelings. She was just sort of there.

Harem Antics Instead Of Plot

Probably my other biggest gripe is that they kept talking about these Metaphysicals, but I have no idea what they are! They sound dangerous, but some context, please? I know I gripe about exposition a lot in these early episodes, and it truly is a difficult thing to do, but you have to put some effort into it, and I didn’t feel any of that here. They went from shameless infodumping to ignoring something big entirely. I’d almost rather an utterly shameless narrated introduction like in the first episode if World Trigger than the half-assed one we got here.

Mostly the focused all seemed to be on shameless fanservice and tsundere bickering, which … look, I know why people would watch this show. It’s exactly for those things. But they spent time on it like it’s the fifth episode, not the first. Introduce us to the world and the characters, slip a few harem antic bits in to let everyone know the score, and ramp them up later on when we have time. Too much too early just makes it seem vapid.

Looking Ahead

I’m undecided whether this or Absolute Duo is the biggest stinker so far. I went into Absolute Duo with lower expectations, and it slightly underperformed even those, but I was looking forward to Seiken Tsukai no World Break second to Shinmai Maou no Testament (out of the four magical-fantasy-action-harem anime only), and it underperformed those expectations precipitously. That still makes it okay, and it could recover; earlier in my magical-fantasy-action-harem watching career, I might have stuck with them, even if they’re not executing on their own tropes very well.

As is, both are on the chopping block for me. I don’t know if I’ll even bother to watch a second episode of either. Only Shinmai has proven itself capable of telling a decent story of the three. I guess I should try out Juuou Mujin no Fafnir, but gods, at this point I can’t drum up the necessary fucks. Even if this is a weak season, there are better things going on than this latest crop of magical-fantasy-action-harem anime, by far.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Another magical-fantasy-action-harem anime, another storytelling mess. I feel like potential was squandered #waruburea 01

Random thoughts:

  • Animation-wise, it was a bit … fragmented, perhaps? It was rough during action scenes, and some of the silly scenes had a strange drop in animation quality for a few frames. Not encouraging.
  • The characters’ eyes look weird. There’s an extra dot in the middle of their pupils. It’s like they have four-layer eyes, instead of three-layer. Even counting for the distortion of anime eyes, that’s weird.
  • Moroha looks really silly in that one piece leotard. Now that he has his barrier jacket or whatever, I hope we never see that again.
  • I thought injuries in the arena don’t stick? Just drag him outside and he’d be fine. Or is that a plot hole!? Eh, stopped caring.

I wrote a book! My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info) My personal site has also moved. Last four posts: Relatability is overrated. Go for interesting, I can’t believe it. This is really happening!, Lessons from the Dresden Files: All alone, & Mind meld.

Full-length images: 13, 25, 30.




  1. I thought injuries in the arena don’t stick? Just drag him outside and he’d be fine. Or is that a plot hole!? Eh, stopped caring

    The bully was not hurt, he got drained by the special attack. They may not have known what the effects of that was. Whither he would wake up as soon as they left the area or fall over dead.

    You would think with this many of the same basic show coming out at the same time that they would make some kind of effort to make each one stand out.

    1. Personally, I like those long incantation, massive firepower spells so the time was fine. Especially so because we saw bunch of other characters in action.
      But the stuff he wrote, some of it was just stupid.
      One line was nothing but “die, die, die.” A few were that but more verbose.

    2. I didn’t mind him taking a long time to cast the spell. It reminded me of Hayate of the Nanoha series, where she needed to be defended because she did big spells with huge areas of effect, but weren’t especially fast. That’s fine … though the effect was rather unimpressive, and the animation was only all right. So maybe a wash.

  2. Personally, I thought this show was even worse than Absolute Duo. At least that pile of doggy-doo didn’t grant the protag superpowers right out of nowhere (everyone at that school had them, and he was only special cause it was a shield) and, well, the other characters didn’t manage to piss me off right off the bat (they were merely boring, walking cliché’s).

    Because seriously, Satsuki gets my vote for most annoying character of the season right away. She’s like a Frankensteinian abomination of every aggravating tsundere-imouto character ever and I could only wish for her fiery death after even one episode of this pile. And I’m supposed to watch an entire show full of her antics? You couldn’t freaking pay me too! It’s a bad thing too when you have me rooting for the bully, but that’s what I did in both fights. Because really, I didn’t want these two ‘heroes’ to win!

    All three of these magic school shows this season are like Mahou Sensou’s bastard children, so I wouldn’t even bother with Fafnir if I was you, Stilts. Unless you want to sit through the laziest exposition ever, and a plot that’s a complete ripoff of Infinite Stratos (and not in a good way).

    I mean, I know there’s an audience for this stuff, but seriously. Is a bit of effort too much too ask? You know, some spark of creativity that would make them a bit watchable? Ugh. Now they might as well be the result of some guy filling out a template and letting a robot fill in the gaps.

    1. Yeeeeah, as much as I’ve usually stood as the final vanguard against the “Anime is dying” crowd, I can’t say much this season. I look back on the ones I watched when I first really got into anime, and would I take Shana over this? Any day. Not even a question. I would take a gimped Shana (AKA Zero no Tsukaima) over this any day as well. So it’s pretty weak.

      And I was already told that Fafnir was bad, so it’s preemptively dropped, though I wasn’t really planning on watching it anyway.

      1. I’m usually one of the more optimistic ones as well. I prefer to focus on the positive and the good anime coming out every season, which usually still outshines the bad if you’re willing to look for them. But this season? It may be the worst in two years. Having three of these types of shows just seals the deal in that regard.

        And yeah, I’d take Shana and Zero no Tsukaima over this any day as well. Even at their worst (usually in their sequels) those shows had a basic sense of competence and the feeling that some effort was put into them. As opposed to what we have now, which is just scraping the bottom of the barrel.

        At least next season’s looking better.

  3. It somehow out sucked Absolute Duo, this show was soul-crushingly boring. The characters are tropes, story was generic, the fight scenes were ugly, everything was predictable. Also Satsuki’s voice is grating like nails on a chalkboard. Go ahead someone, tell me how awesome the Light Novels are or something.

      1. …as much as I agree, Spirit Circle is also ongoing, and isn’t going to be anything even close to something you can try to adapt in an incomplete form. You’d have a better point with Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer, which is complete.

  4. The shrill “little sister” character was very very shrill. The characters that weren’t 2-dimensional, were 1-dimensional.

    I’ll give it one more ep, just to see if it can get Akikan! bad or Yoake Mae bad. (Or Glasslip bad!)

    I’ll root for it if it starts to head towards 0 territory.

  5. “Inherently Gifted Characters Are Not Likable, Relatable, Or Interesting”
    I don’t understand that part. To me so is the how a charcter got hos power no more important then hair colour when it comes to being relatable.

    1. Starting weak and working to earn strength is more relatable to most audiences then having super powers gifted to a character. The protagonist did not earn his power, in fact he feels even lazier then the usual shonen lead who has to at least train a little. He gets Deus Ex powers from just being someone strong in a past life.

      He won’t have a creditable rival, or face loss or even any real challenges that would cause him to grow as a character. I guarantee he will win the last fight via the power of friendship and/or wincest. From a story perspective it would have been more interesting for him to have simply gotten a beating at the end of the episode.

      1. It’s not even that. Starting strong is fine … if you earned that strength. For example, Basara of Shinmai Maou no Testament enters the story as already powerful, which is fine, because he learned all of that (and worked for all of that) before the story starts, rather than suddenly gaining it when he was powerless a few seconds before. The main characters in my own book are the same—they are powerful spell casters (of varying degrees), and they learned it all before the story starts, which works because it’s clear they still put in the effort (and for one of them in particular, still has to put in even more).

        It’s all about earned power as opposed to gifted power. You can have a mix of the two, but you need to put the effort forth for us to feel like you’re anything other than an entitled brat. MC-kun here didn’t put any effort forth, he just stepped into a battle way over his head and got lucky because plot.

        So it’s partially what deVaras said, but where they are at the story doesn’t matter. It’s how they get their power, whether it happens before the story or after. Effort is required for them to be compelling.

      2. I can understand that someone putting in a lot of effort to train can be seen as admireable and in a positive light. But I don’t see how someone benifitting from a lucky event makes them a bad person. If you ever win at lottery will that make you unhappy as you are now a worse person due to having been lucky once?

        It also rather limits your enjoyment of books, movies, tv series etc. I feel truly sorry for you if you are excluded from any stories that involves random powerups.

      3. @Znail
        I don’t think anyone said they were bad people for getting lucky, but it’s generally not the way to write a good character.
        For me, having a protag gifted his skills w/ no effort is like someone handing me a video game with an NG+ character, but without my having completed the game first. Sure, I can whoop ass and sleepwalk through the game because my character is far more powerful than he should be, but you’re basically removing any challenge and leaving it entirely up to the plot to keep my interest. Considering the plot is usually a weak point in this genre, that’s probably not the best idea. If you’re gonna have a NG+ MC, you better make sure the enemies are NG+ only material.
        Shiroe and others in Log Horizon start off powerful, but it’s made clear they put time in to get their characters up to where they are, and the challenges they face require more than simply being lvl 90+. Even with Kirito, you can see that he actually puts time into having a strong character (plot gift of Dual-wielding notwithstanding). Actually, now that I think about it, gifting a character power because of a “past life” is like the conveniently bullshit way that Kirito carried his skills and money over to ALO in the 1st season. Hey, he just happened to carry over the important things, like his skills, Yui’s item, and the money to fund an entire raid (which, surprise!, is important later on), while everything unnecessary to the plot happens to be data corrupted.
        And it’s not like I hate random powerups either; if you’ve ever read the LN for Highschool DxD, there are a few occassions where Issei gets a random (usually hilarious and immediately banned) powerup from events involving breasts, including Show Spoiler ▼

        However, it’s also made quite clear that he works his ass off to build up his base power, and the powerups, while random, are also due in part to his developing his own power in the first place. Here, we get no sign that this powerup is anything other than, “because plot”.

      4. It’s just like when we have a school exam, somebody brought a cheating sheet with him and got a perfect score without even studying a little bit, oh and the cheating sheet is given to him from someone random. It feels cheap and insulting to the others.

      5. @ Znail

        First of all, a tip—when you include the line “I feel sorry for you” toward anything but a mutually agreed upon unfortunate situation, you’re just asking for someone to be cheesed off at you. It’s insulting

        Once again, it’s not about luck. Characters can absolute benefit from good fortune or unique attributes, even ones given to them at birth. To use my previous examples, Basara in Shinmai couldn’t have been awesome if he wasn’t born into the hero tribe, and in my own book, two of my three main characters are naturally gifted with above average magickal potential.

        The difference between them and MC-kun here is that they ALSO work for their powers, or they come into the story with their powers already there, so if they truly did have a super easy time about it (doubt it in the former case, know that’s not how it happened in the latter), we wouldn’t be so acutely aware of it.

        It’s like SK mentioned about Log Horizon. Yes, they start out powerful, and Shiroe has unique skills and outlook different from everyone else, but you damn well know he put in the effort beforehand, and we see him doing it during the series. I disagree on Kirito, though—he goes from a borderline example up to mid-way through the first arc (him being gifted with the Dual Wield skill was a bit bullshitty, but he did work for the rest of his power) to tripping straight into bullshit territory when he won the final confrontation against programmer dude because plot.

        Actually, that’s what it all comes down to. If the reason the protagonist keeps winning is because plot, the story is badly done. You can get away with some providence once in a while, but outright bullshit luck is usually not the way to go.

        Yes, it happens in real life, but there’s a reason we love fictional stories more than factual ones. Real life is often unintuitive and bullshitty.

    2. The thing is, that kind of main character tends to grind the world building and other characters to dust. It often just becomes about how special he is. He solves problems, not by being clever or resolute or cultivating the right friendships, but by being special at them. Even if he does have friends (harem) to help him, the main reason he has them is his specialness. Instead of having an interesting character in an interesting world full of people living their own lives, we have an RPG world full of people waiting for the MC to side-quest their problems away in a convenient manner.

  6. I still can’t wrap my head around the idea of “past life” (and the main character apparently has two). I feel like there’s a lot of problems with it, like for example regret? Just what kind of person were you exactly? Think about it like, for example, having memories of being Kiritsugu from Fate/Zero as your past life. Yeah….. totally pleasant memories. W/e not much has been explained yet and I think I’m just looking into it too deeply and that is definitely not the direction the anime is going for.

    Yup wasn’t too surprise this anime failed along with all the other generics. Well maybe I shouldn’t say that, generic isn’t really the problem (to me anyways) just the execution. I haven’t grown tired of these genres yet but they just fail to keep me attracted. Yeah I should just say I didn’t enjoy this anime and call it a day.

  7. Watching this just made me imagine Eita from OreShura writhing in the ground in shame for the chuunibyou overdose on the plot. And the funny thing is it’s indeed similar in regard that Eita chuunibyou is also similar with heroic former-life reincarnation. In OreShura it’s taken as tounge in cheek jokes while here they take it seriously, which made me cringe.

    Production value wise, this is even worse than the contender Absolute Duo, it’s extremely stiff and have some time and space continuity problem. The protag got pinned on the ground, stepped by the delinquent. Then the delinquent swung his axe, almost hitting the protag. Suddenly he’s already far away and running in to attack with his newly acquired sword. It’s beyond cheating, it’s like the author stopped the time to prevent his defeat…

  8. When Absolute Duo is coming out ahead of the pack in this seasons brawl between generic-magical-harems you know things aren’t going well. I managed to make it through an entire episode of Absolute Duo with some hope it could get better… I couldn’t even make it through the entire show for either this or the dragon one.

    I think this one was the worst of all… even the MC’s hair makes me want to kick him in the face. That stupid patch of white that just screams of the author trying too hard to make a bland character look cool.

  9. This one has to be the worst of the three super-generic-magic-battle-school-harem shows. In addition to all the writing problems people already mentioned, the animation looks like they have no budget to work with.
    One glaring example: while I hate it, I can at least understand the “hair behind the eyes” animation. But how the hell do you animate this so that the hair is between the sclera (whites) and iris, and also visible in the pupil?

    The story is lower-end generic, the studio clearly isn’t even trying, they have no budget, how the hell did this get greenlit?

  10. After seeing episode two of Absolute Duo, I can say that Absolute Duo is definitely pulling ahead quickly as, compared to its weak introduction, episode two actually did some development.

    World Break seems to be trying to use “past memories” solely as an excuse to give the MC hax powers quickly. What they fail to address, however, is the fact that regardless of you having memories of a past life, it doesn’t change the fact that you are no longer that same person anymore. You are living in the present as a completely different person with a completely different body that more than likely does not work anywhere near the same as the past life body did. Thinking on that, it only makes the MC’s sudden power gain and instantaneous mastery even more ridiculous.

    Off the top of my head, I much preferred the way they used past life stuff with Cardcaptor Sakura’s Eriol Hiiragizawa/”Eli”.

    1. I think its less they cared about hax powers and more about giving him an excuse to have ladies fall in love with him. Also he can now bone his sister since she is technically a different person, all the benefits of wincest without actual incest.

  11. My thoughts mirror what most others posted/bulk of what Stilts wrote. It was not… good – especially Ranjou Satsuki. There’s “baka adorable/cute” and “baka please just shut up”. Safe to say she falls in the latter category for me. The rest was utterly “meh” though “meh” might be generous with the visual quality. OK, generous period.

    I haven’t watched the 2nd episode of Absolute Duo yet, but I’d still easily put its first episode ahead of this (and Fafnir Ep 01 for the record). Both this and Fafnir are drops for me. I’ll stick with AD and Shin Maou for at least another couple of episodes. Hopefully at least one, if not both, will pan out.

    1. I wrote in my watching notes “She’s such a baka. Not lovable baka. Just an idiot.” I contrasted her to Cinque in Dog Days, which I’ve been marathoning, who is absolutely a lovable baka. Satsuki is just a giant pile of fail.

  12. I dont care about this seiken, absolute duo or shinmai maou..
    shinmai maou are close to hentai, nextthat oni chan will rape that imouto’s oppai.
    i am waiting for dog days, kuroko, yokyo ghoul, kantai col and idolmaster.. lol

  13. Strangely, I watched the premieres of all three of this formula (this, Duo, and the non-mecha Fafnir) and easily thought Duo was still the worst out of the three…. not to say any of the three are anything even remotely close to good.

    The thing about Duo, now that I’ve watched the second episode (to my regret) and thought about it a bit more, is that it throws in everything and the kitchen sink tropes-wise, and does absolutely nothing with them. It has an illogically vicious school system… that isn’t vicious enough by half. It has ecchi antics in awkward places… and not enough of it to qualify as pointless eye candy. It has the eccentric teacher trope and feels the need to belabour the point with the unfunny student reactions. The main heroine is barely interesting, even for her personality archetype. It’s main character is the milquetoast mix of improbably unselfish mixed with a healthy dose of sexism, and it lays out no significant conflict, no gravitas to distinguish itself from the pack. About the only good thing Duo has going for it, in my opinion, is pretty backgrounds.

    In contrast, the harem Fafnir, while failing in mostly everything else from exposition to character development, at least manages to present a setting and conflict than engenders a sense of real and present danger, even if it doesn’t quite manage to make you care enough about the characters to be all that bothered about said danger. And this one at least doesn’t throw everything and the kitchen sink in and expect it to somehow not look like a gloopy mess, and doesn’t have main characters about as interesting as flaps of cardboard… although, admittedly, I’m not that sure sinking into loud idiocy like Satsuki does is that much of an improvement.

    Actually, while I’m not likely at this point to follow any of the three past episode 3, this one actually has the best (low) chance of the three, if only because Shizuno is a pretty good troll at times. Which easily puts her ahead of most other characters in all 3 of this particular formula this season…. not that that’s a great achievement, but still. 😛

  14. “Of all the magical-fantasy-action-harem anime based on a light novels I’ve watched so far this season, this one may not be the worst”..HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! what a shining recommendation!!

    that reminds me of a comment my friend says when we are sampling new craft beers…”well….its not horrible.” lulz

    BROOKLYN otaku
  15. You suffer for us Stilts, and for that I thank you. If anything, the action/fantasy/harem adaptation genre can be categorized as a high risk/low reward affair. Maybe we’ll get a Highschool DxD or Trinity Seven that shamelessly embrace their fanservice, or a Shinmai that at least tries to incorporate the fanservice into the story, but otherwise it’s a minefield of storytelling disasters one after the other.

    I at least knew to dodge Absolute Duo from what I knew from its manga iteration (also decided to take a chance on Shinmai for the same reason), but I had no idea what to expect of World Break beyond my foreboding premonition from the premise and key art. Now I know to stay far, far away thanks to this post. I owe you part of my soul, Stilts.

    Purple Bomber
    1. You’re welcome. Seriously. I had to suffer through this one a lot >_< Though I didn't bother with Fafnir, which I here is tripe, so stay away! There, I've saved you twice. Medal please! And to be fair, I think magical-fantasy-action-harem anime are low risk/pretty good reward. Take the comments here as a completely flawed but convenient metric---even the ones we all agree suck still get 30+ comments, and if you do well, you get an SAO or Infinite Stratos, which practically print money. Honestly, if they would put just a little more effort into some of these properties---both in the original story and the anime adaptation---they'd be printing an embarrassing amount of money. Probably the return is still pretty good even so, given how many of the crappy things we're getting.

      1. All I could think when watching episode one of Fafnir was, “combination of Black Bullet, Infinite Stratos, and Freezing”.

        Black Bullet – Giant shadowy beings that just seem to appear and disappear, and can spell the doom for humanity unless girls (and only girls normally) who are able to use similar powers as those enemies can stop them while under constant danger of turning into that enemy.

        Freezing – The whole “volt texture” style of clothing and forming weapons and whatnot coupled with, again, using the power of the enemy and in constant danger of becoming that very enemy.

        Infinite Stratos – A normally girls-only thing, yet a single boy is somehow to use that same power, but is never explained how (yet anyway), with girls falling for him left and right for…reasons.

      2. Piece of garbage.

        Stilts the problem with this despicable thing lies not in the magical-fantasy-action-harem theme. The problem is that it is just a Wish List and not a Story.

        Some idiot decided to take all the ideas that might appeal to a teenage male audience and cram it into an anime, hoping it will sell. It’s an insult to the whole industry and viewers that they still continue to do this. It’s similar to cooking, just because you can add all the spices in the world into a pot, that doesn’t mean it’s going to taste good.

        So I agree with Stilts on dropping this and Absolute Duo. At least I gave Absolute duo a second episode try.

  16. M’kay, this art is shit. Complete. And. Utter. Shit.

    *deep breath*

    Just had to get that off my chest. All good now. 🙂


    Alrighty, so we have various female characters whose names I honestly don’t care to remember jumping into the arms of our equally forgettable protagonist ’cause that’s how it was in their past lives, so deal with it. Fine. What I don’t understand is why its potential is being squandered in such a way.

    Seriously, there was an honest to goodness opportunity here to nix a lot of the tiresome, cumbersome development that’s so often endured in harem series, and yet Seiken instead chooses to outright insult its viewership (and the female population at large, but that’s another rant entirely) by having its girls come off as little more than cheap and downright stupid.

    With an entire lifetime(s) to manipulate, why not incorporate some genuine trauma or the like into these characters, giving them motivation or aspirations beyond what you would expect from otherwise cookie cutter types?


    It’s just… really? Even if you’re just shooting for hormonally stressed teenage boys as your target audience, there’s no excuse for this level of laziness. Seriously.

    Ryan Ashfyre
  17. I don’t really have much to add here beyond echoing the sentiments, but I think something is up with the formatting for the page. Everything below Stilts’ reply to Purple Bomber is italicized, along with the entire sidebar, which leads me to believe that he left a tag open. I’ll try closing it here and see if it makes it better, but other than that, let the bashing resume.

  18. Trite.

    Seriously, is the requirement to write for an anime show now consist of “You must have an extreme case of 13 year old syndrome and blindly believe that knowing two or three words in English is freaking cool.” I wonder if Japan realizes that having uselessly inserted English words into their story is like having an American walking around saying, “Oh my god! This is sushi roll is so sugoi! Seriously, someone try this ooishii sushi!” Or “That nekko-chan is so kawaii! Isn’t it desu ne?!” or “My final attack, Dark Ryuu Flame Breath Dan!” or “Welcome to America’s best special forces – Star Katana Kaze Raijuu Onii”

    The moment I heard them fail to pronounce the word Savior, I immediately started to skim through the episode. Not that that summary of the story wasn’t a huge telltale sign already.

  19. Well, after the disagreement with AD and Shinmai, this time I agree with you Stilts. Well, except on the ‘may worst’ part because this is certainly worst compared with the two above. The characters was the shallowest and flattest. I feel dissapointed, the prologue and the introduction was good enough that I give some hopes but it quickly went downhill. I feel like this is a squandering of potential. Reincarnation from fantasy land plot was cliche but they are bit rare lately and if there’s a lot of interesting things that can be done with it. Spirit circle mentioned above was a good example. Pity.

    As much I enjoyed harem anime, its rather annoying to see girls obsessing so strongly and quickly with the protagonist. Ladies man is well and good, even flimsy justification can still be acceptable, but acting like idiot early like that is painful to watch.

  20. Ouch Stilts. You’re really slamming into this one, though that’s probably the pilot episode’s own fault.

    I didn’t get much out of this, except that I finished the episode with a one-word conclusion – Meh.

    The atmosphere of the entire episode screamed of old school to me, but Ranjou was just annoying as hell. Not quite sure when was the last time I was terribly annoyed at a female lead character (and I hardly get riled up by fictional anime people), but she definitely got on my nerves. The art design didn’t get me excited, which also means I cared even less about some of the meaningless fanservice shown here.

    How they started the episode wasn’t impressive either. Probably would have been better off without it in the first place. I wouldn’t totally say these characters aren’t relatable at all per se, but they hardly make an impression, except for Shizuno. Ironically, she’s the most stoic one out of all the ones we were introduced to. The pacing wasn’t good either.

    Don’t know why, but I actually find it challenging to find a saving grace for this episode. Besides, even if this was an advertising medium for the LN itself (which I sincerely hope is hundreds of times better than this sad thing I’ve watched), it fails an an advertising medium. Advertisements are meant to pique the interest of the target audience, attract them to whatever is being marketed and get them to buy into the idea of the product. The pilot episode utterly fails at this, period.

    Conclusion? I’d probably watch this when I find myself too optimistic about everything and balance it out with some mind-numbing terrible show like this one…Unless it improves, which is hard to see.

    P.S Absolute Duo, by the way, DID improve somewhat. The pacing was much better, which gave viewers time and chance to get to know our characters more. The terrible fanservice though is still a problem.

  21. Unlike the Absolute Disappointment that was Absolute Duo, this show was at least entertainingly hateful. I actually found some elements interesting or amusing; the fight scene at the start was decent, the harem hijinks got a few laughs, and I thought the reincarnation memories as the driving force for the hareming was a rather clever trick. Sadly it’s used as an excuse for a harem instead of delving into the effects of having multiple past loves suddenly appear.

    Then there was the bad. Pretentious chuuni magic, incest, evulz rapey throwaway villain used solely to show how awesome the MC is (I would have applauded if they left it at imouto getting pwned), BS powerups, and lousy direction and animation. Not to mention the same old cliche tropes we’re seeing the Nth time this season.

    Stilts, I have to disagree with you that the execution alone is why these shows are so bad. Trope fatigue may not be the sole reason, but when there are at least two other shows that are virtually identical to World Break this season alone it’s clear that these concepts and plot elements are being overused. Even steak and potatoes can get old if you eat them every night, and when it’s a frozen dinner like this it’ll simply get old even faster.

    1. Yes, trope fatigue matters, but my point was (is) that if they were executed well, they could still be entertaining. Since they haven’t been most of this season, I’m losing interest in even finishing this sen–

  22. I can’t drum up the necessary fucks

    That’s the best way to sum up my experience watching this show so far…
    What the entire fuck happened that episode? Worst anime of the year already?

  23. I’m a girl who does enjoy the harem hijinks occasionally but here’s my two cents remember a little show called Tenchi muyo what made the female characters work in there is while they all were in love with the main character their lives didn’t revolve around him and only him they all had their own little problems to face (well except mihoshi). where most harems don’t work is that now the author never gives one of the girls a life outside of “I want to be with main character” why? I don’t know maybe because they don’t think male fans could relate or want to relate to the female characters.

    1. Exactly! This is what I was saying about Inou Battle all last season. It didn’t seem like a harem show … but of course, it was. We’ve just gotten so used to harem shows that treat the female characters more like accessories than characters. Inou Battle, and old stars like Tenchi Muyo or Love Hina, knew that you still had to make the female characters characters to make good stories.

      Though I doubt they even had to contemplate the question … to many storytellers, the idea of making any main characters so shallow is unthinkable. I know it is for me.

  24. It’s starting to look like Taketatsu Ayana is replacing Kugimiya Rie as the annoying as fuck tsundere character. Honestly, I wanted to put my fist through the screen this whole episode. I can handle Yoshitsugu Matsuoka voicing almost every harem lead (honestly surprised he’s not voicing Moroha), but if I have to suffer through Taketatsu Ayana playing the same bitchy imouto character, I am going to go crazy.

    On the other hand, we do have Yuuki Aoi showing us that she isn’t just limited to high-pitched characters. Except this was less recognizably her “usual” voice role than in KoiUta where you could catch glimpses of her high-pitched voice come in at times. Color me impressed.

    1. Yuuki Aoi has some skills. Ayachii too, but she never gets to flex them. She’s like KugiRie in that way … it’s not that they can’t do more, it’s that they’re so heavily typecast, and they make good money doing that, so why change? Though KugiRie is more of the wrathful loli, while Ayachii is the tsundere imouto. Subtle but barely recognizable difference.

      1. As much as it makes sense that she gets typecast as the tsun tsun imouto, it’s a shame she doesn’t get to flex those vocal chords too often. Just like Toyosaki Aki has been impressive in her non-moe roles–and to an extent Kugyuu’s non-loli roles she’s been getting lately, it’d be nice to see Taketatsu Ayana play a different character. The rest of her K-On! senpais have shown us they have many voices, and I think we need her to get a chance too lol.

  25. I havent watched the show yet, and truth be told, i am very reluctant to do so.

    I was hoping that going to randomc might give me some reason to give a crap about this one, but alas, stilts pretty much smashed this one to the ground.

    Maybe i’ll watch this when i’m bored out of my mind

  26. it’s a shame how normally now female characters in anime aren’t compelling as they used to be. look back at the 90’s most female characters in anime from that era actually acted realistically to situations around them and had quirks that made them relatable and interesting (kaoru kamiya, melfina, faye valentine, relena peacecraft, meryl stryfe, milly Thompson, suzuka, ashia, ayeka, ryoko, washu, sasami, megumi) the problem is now female characters are not allowed to “creak” or fall apart because if they do most otaku will be outraged because of their delusional picture of perfection.

    1. I wouldn’t completely agree there, but your point is very valid. The counter argument would be that there are just so many shows and so many characters now that it’s often nigh impossible to find a new archetype at all, and usually people associate archetypes with how refreshingly interesting a character is. You can pull a quirk from somewhere else and another person who knows about such a quirk from a character he’s familiar with calls it cliche.

      But they really could do better than this. This is just lazy writing, and it’s terrible.

  27. It seems like not so long ago heroes in fiction were people that started from humble backgrounds that go through a journey and end up being regarded as heroes rather than someone being a hero because they were born special or were given unique powers. “The chosen one” kind of background isn’t bad but it goes back to the whole relatability thing. I think Gin from Gintama is a good example of a main character that starts off strong but isn’t so overpowered that it makes the story boring.

    I think my tolerance for these magical harem style anime has run out… Characters like Satsuki don’t help either.


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